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New York Renters Move at Frenzied Pace in Search of Deals

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  • New York Renters Move at Frenzied Pace in Search of Deals

    New York renters were on the move in May, fleeing their apartments to escape rising costs and seek better deals elsewhere in the city.

    The number of new apartment leases signed in Brooklyn increased more than fourfold from a year earlier to 1,079, and new deals in Queens more than doubled to 259, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. In Manhattan, new rentals jumped 85 percent, the most in more than four years.
    “It’s the tenants’ resistance to rising rents at the time of lease renewal,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel and a Bloomberg View contributor. “They want to look elsewhere in search of affordability.”
    Rents citywide have been climbing fast and hovering near all-time highs, forcing tenants to pay more no matter where they turn. Manhattan rents have risen for 15 consecutive months and reached a quarterly record at the end of March, according to Miller Samuel. In Brooklyn, formerly a refuge for tenants seeking cheaper deals, rents hit a peak in April and stayed about the same last month.
    In May, the median monthly rent in Manhattan was $3,380, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the report. Rents rose 4.8 percent in Brooklyn to a median $2,933. In the Queens neighborhoods of Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside, the median fell 12 percent to $2,597 as small apartments accounted for the largest share of new leases, Miller said.
    Shrinking Discounts

    Landlords found they didn’t need to do much to entice renters to sign agreements. Rent discounts from the original list price were never more than 1 percent in any of the three boroughs last month, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx